Optic Radiation Tractography in Pediatric Brain Surgery Applications: A Reliability and Agreement Assessment of the Tractography Method

Joseph Yuan Mou Yang, Richard Beare, Michelle Hao Wu, Sarah M. Barton, Charles B. Malpas, Chun Hung Yeh, A. Simon Harvey, Vicki Anderson, Wirginia J. Maixner, Marc Seal

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Background: Optic radiation (OR) tractography may help predict and reduce post-neurosurgical visual field deficits. OR tractography methods currently lack pediatric and surgical focus. Purpose: We propose a clinically feasible OR tractography strategy in a pediatric neurosurgery setting and examine its intra-rater and inter-rater reliability/agreements. Methods: Preoperative and intraoperative MRI data were obtained from six epilepsy and two brain tumor patients on 3 Tesla MRI scanners. Four raters with different clinical experience followed the proposed strategy to perform probabilistic OR tractography with manually drawing anatomical landmarks to reconstruct the OR pathway, based on fiber orientation distributions estimated from high angular resolution diffusion imaging data. Intra- and inter-rater reliabilities/agreements of tractography results were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and dice similarity coefficient (DSC) across various tractography and OR morphological metrics, including the lateral geniculate body positions, tract volumes, and Meyer’s loop position from temporal anatomical landmarks. Results: Good to excellent intra- and inter-rater reproducibility was demonstrated for the majority of OR reconstructions (ICC = 0.70–0.99; DSC = 0.84–0.89). ICC was higher for non-lesional (0.82–0.99) than lesional OR (0.70–0.99). The non-lesional OR’s mean volume was 22.66 cm3; the mean Meyer’s loop position was 29.4 mm from the temporal pole, 5.89 mm behind of and 10.26 mm in front of the temporal ventricular horn. The greatest variations (± 1.00–3.00 mm) were observed near pathology, at the tract edges or at cortical endpoints. The OR tractography were used to assist surgical planning and guide lesion resection in all cases, no patient had new visual field deficits postoperatively. Conclusion: The proposed tractography strategy generates reliable and reproducible OR tractography images that can be reliably implemented in the routine, non-emergency pediatric neurosurgical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1254
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2019


  • diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
  • Meyer’s loop
  • neurosurgery
  • optic radiation
  • tractography
  • visual field deficits

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